Today I am going to be diving into a topic close to my heart; one that I am sure you can resonate with from time to time.
We are going to have a little chat about body insecurities.
I would say that in general, I am a pretty confident person. Sure, I get insecure about things from time to time, but overall, I feel as if I have worked through a lot of my past body insecurities. But for some reason, as of lately, I’ve been feeling a little extra sensitive about my body image.
Have you ever noticed that when you neglect to take care of yourself, your confidence fades? I have been feeling more stressed the past four months than I have ever in my life, and because of my time commitments, I haven’t really been taking care of my body as well as I would like to. I keep saying that I am going to make a change, but the truth is that I have been neglecting my physical health over anything.
I have been finding that when I neglect to take care of my physical wellbeing, my mental wellbeing suffers as well.
I’ve been missing those stress-releasing, happy-to-lucky endorphins that usually shush the negative body talk.
Believe it or not, even as I was putting together this blog post, I was over-analyzing photos of myself so much that I almost did not publish the post. My calves look big, I have no ass, my teeth are gross, my nose is big, people probably laugh at me every time I publish a style post because I’m so awkward, blah blah blah. For the life of me, I couldn’t turn off the negative switch. It got to the point where I had to take a break from blogging for a few days.
I am my own worst enemy.
The truth is, we all get body insecurities at some part. Whether you are insecure about your legs, your butt, your arms, you name it- I’ve been there. And I’m willing to bet that I have a tribe of women behind me who have also been there. We need to band together, support one another, and remind ourselves that we are beautiful. Just the way we are. It sounds incredibly cliché, but I mean it.
As many of you know, I’m currently in grad school to be a school counselor. I currently volunteer as a counselor at a high school after-school program. One night during our group time, we had a Lyric Jam, which is where an individual selects a song, the group listens to the lyrics, and the individual speaks about the significance of the song in her life. Particularly, one song that is chosen often by my high school girls is Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara.
If you are not familiar of the song, the lyrics read:
“She just wants to be beautiful. She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits; She craves attention, she praises an image. She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor. Oh she don’t see the light that’s shining, Deeper than the eyes can find it, Maybe we have made her blind, So she tries to cover up her pain, and cut her woes away. ‘Cause covergirls don’t cry after their face is made….
…. She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving. You know, “Covergirls eat nothing.” She says, “Beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything.” “What’s a little bit of hunger?” “I could go a little while longer,” she fades away. She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it; Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface. So to all the girls that’s hurting, Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer, The light that shines within.
…. But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are. And you don’t have to change a thing, The world could change its heart. No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful.”
First of all, can I get a HELL YEAH, AMEN GIRLFRIEND!!! to Aleesia Cara?! I just love love LOVE this song. FINALLY a ray of positivity in the media. But what I really want to convey with you all is the significance of why this song is so popular with my high school girls.
Why is it that so many adolescents react emotionally to this song? Why is it that I do?
It just goes to show that we are not alone in our body insecurities.
We all want to be validated from time to time that we are beautiful and worthy.
I’m here to tell you that YOU are not alone in your body insecurities.
And guess what. YOU are in control of those thoughts!
So how do we deal with these self-destructive thoughts? How do we change the stigma? How do we learn to be kinder to ourselves?
First of all, I’ve been choosing to focus on health and wellness over skinny.
I have been very intentional in striving to achieve holistic wellness vs. losing weight. I started a 6-week health challenge about two weeks ago, and I made it a goal not to lose weight, but to focus on forming healthier habits. I’ve been eating more veggies, drinking more water, and laying off the sweets. And although I’ll admit I still peek at the scale when I know I shouldn’t, I have been feeling a lot more confident by choosing to focus on holistic health vs. striving to achieve an idealistic image of what a body SHOULD look like.
Secondly, I am making an effort to stop expressing my negative thoughts about my body out loud. If I think it in my head, I do not repeat it with voice. Why? Because saying negative thoughts out loud is like giving myself permission to stomp on myself and dig myself even deeper into a whole. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. I need to love myself as others love me.
Lastly, I have been trying to take care of yourself mentally by doing more self-care. Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing. Slow your life down a bit, if you can, to focus on yourself more. Recognize what you need and make it a goal to incorporate more of that in your life. Whether you need more sleep, more time outside, or more cardio in your life, make a goal and commit to self-care. (See my latest blog post on how to create attainable, achieveable goals.) You deserve this babes. So let’s stop making excuses together, shall we?
So ladies- don’t let our media-obsessed body-shaming culture get you down. Let’s stop focusing on always trying to always be “skinny,” and let’s instead challenge ourselves to be HEALTHY. Let’s choose to love the body we were born with.
I’d love to hear from you. How do YOU cope with body insecurities? Leave me a comment below!
Top // Charlotte Russe
Jeans // Brandy Melville
Boots // Charlotte Russe
Belt // Target
Bag // Hammitt
Photos by Shaunae Teske